Monday, November 15, 2010

Research Study of the Day: Seeing Meat Makes People Less Aggressive

Who thinks up these experiments? According to a study from McGill University in Montreal, people who look at pictures of meat are significantly less aggressive than those who don’t. The report on Science Daily states that subjects were asked to punish a script reader for mistakes he made while sorting photos, some of which depicted meat and some which did not. The subjects were told that the punishment consisted of varying degrees of noise to the point of actual pain. It seems that photos of meat made the subjects less prone to inflicting the severest punishment. The study’s leader was surprised by the finding having felt that the sight of meat would have the opposite effect because of its association with hunting and other aggressive behaviors.

The report also contains the following amusing sentence. “The idea that meat would illicit aggressive behaviour [sic] makes sense, as it would have helped our primate ancestors with hunting, co-opting and protecting their meat resources.” This is another example of the mischief that can result from too much faith in spell-checker.

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